What is the efficacy of standard therapy for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in older patients?

Updated: May 26, 2020
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Some older patients do reasonably well with standard therapy. In an analysis of 998 older patients treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the following factors were associated with an adverse outcome: [71]

  • Age greater than 75 years
  • Poor performance status
  • Previous antecedent hematologic disorder
  • Unfavorable karyotype
  • Renal insufficiency
  • Treatment outside of a laminar flow room

Patients with none of those risk factors had a complete remission rate of 72%, 8-week mortality of 10%, and median 2-year survival of 35%, whereas patients with 3 or more risk factors had a complete remission rate of 24%, an 8-week mortality of 57%, and a median 2-year survival of only 3%. [71] Thus, some low-risk elderly patients can benefit from standard intensive chemotherapy.


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